Yes, this is another season with our favorite Haruhi Suzumiya, but it is not an official third season of the series. What is it then?
I’m Satoshi Furude from Anime Monogatari and this is my review on The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan.
The 16-episode series aired between April and July 2015 and left many Haruhi Suzumiya fans surprised, wondering if this was the long expected third season. As much as I wanted it to, I must make clear that in any case this isn’t the third season of the Haruhi Suzumiya series, but a spin-off story based on the manga written and illustrated by Puyo, who used many elements from the main story.
I personally feel satisfied being able to talk about this series because besides having many things that I liked, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was the first review I have ever wrote.
Although the main story of Haruhi Suzumiya is a supernatural comedy, this series is a romantic comedy. As you thought correctly, the supernatural elements are completely absent.
The plot is about Yuki Nagato, now an ordinary, very shy and tentative girl, who has a crush on Kyon. With some help from her best friend Ryoko Asakura, she will try to bring Kyon closer to her and tell him how she feels. Things, of course, are never so simple for such a shy girl, so she has to overcome many obstacles in her way until and if she can do that.
As a romantic story it is natural that the style and the pace of the plot will be different and focuses on different points compared to the Haruhi Suzumiya series. The characters have the same personalities (especially Haruhi who hasn’t changed at all), but they are adapted in this new environment.
You may say that I mentioned above that the series has things that I liked about this story, how come the rating is so low? Well, the point is that here, my rating is somewhat subjective. Deciding on the rating, I had in mind that the story is somewhat independent from the canon plot of Haruhi Suzumiya and whether the viewer has watched both of the canon seasons. In case you’ve seen the main series, then you will enjoy this one much better, as the characters are already familiar to you and you’re just seeing them under other circumstances. This doesn’t mean that someone who hasn’t seen any of the two canon seasons can’t watch this one. The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan has its own story that doesn’t depend on the other Haruhi Suzumiya series and anyone can watch it. I just personally believe that this series hasn’t got anything “special” to offer to someone who hasn’t seen Haruhi Suzumiya at all, as there are many anime in the romance genre that are much better than this one.
Another reason my rating is so low is the ending. It wasn’t what I was expecting but besides that, I didn’t have the feeling that the show ended. I felt that it had something better to offer and it didn’t and that disappointed me.
I want to begin talking about the OP. Although the series was produced by a different studio, the opening is classic and anticipated for the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise. It’s a happy, dancing song and the main characters do a little dance towards the end of it. On the other hand, the ED is a slow ballad with some melancholy in it, which fits with the romantic genre of the series.
Something really positive is that the voice cast is the same for this series, even Tomokazu Sugita, Kyon’s voice, who is one of my favorite characters in anime because of his sarcastic comments.
The Haruhi Suzumiya series didn’t have a soundtrack that stood out and the same happens here. The music is beautiful and fits the scenes, but there isn’t a track that stands out. Many of the tracks are the same as the canon series.
The animation is at the same level and hasn’t changed much. It is quite good and the art design is magnificent. The animation might be a little better, especially when it comes to the character movements and the shadowing.
The change that is obvious is in the character design. They have done some basic changes on their appearance, especially on the male characters of Kyon and Itsuki Koizumi, and they have added many moe elements, especially on Yuki Nagato, probably so they fit in the romantic style of the series.
As I mentioned before, the enjoyment you will get from this series depends on whether you have seen the canon series or not. The personalities of the characters are the same. There are many indirect references in events that happened in the canon series. The locations and some habit haven’t changed and generally there are many parts in the story that only someone that has seen all the seasons can understand and appreciate. A newbie to the franchise won’t have difficulty watching and understanding this series because of these references, but the main story isn’t anything more than an average romance story. I would totally recommend this anime to a big fan of the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise, as long as you understand that you mustn’t expect to see a fantasy story with espers, aliens and time travelers, or else you will be disappointed.
Personally, I didn’t have the intention of finishing this series, but I finally did as I liked the comedic element. Another reason I liked it is because it has two of my favorite anime characters, Kyon and Yuki Nagato. Besides all that, this is a light series where you can enjoy watching it (and Haruhiism fans will enjoy even more).
What is your opinion about the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise and what do you think about the Yuki Nagato series?
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